Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Break in the Summer Heat

Thank goodness the weather took a break from full-on swelter. Aside from the joy of not wilting as soon as I step out of the shower, the cooler weather finally gave me a chance to address the fall veggies that the CSA has been sending along each week. Turnips, carrots, fennel, apples and cabbage, oh my! Sure, these can all be turned into dishes for a hot summer night, but I think they are even better cooked together in the spirit of fall.

So that's just what we did: cracking open a bottle of pear cider (a Swedish brand that's been on super sale at the Pioneer), I started to gather my cool-weather roots and assembled a dinner with roast vegetables, thick pork loin chops (also on sale), and sauteed savoy cabbage with apple. Perfect food for a fall break from the summer heat.

Pork Chops
Thick cut pork loin chops
olive oil
salt and pepper

Roast Fall Vegetables
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 leek, sliced thin and soaked in water to get the grit out
1 small bulb fennel, tops trimmed off and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
5 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Sauteed Cabbage and Apples
Olive oil
1/2 small Savoy cabbage, shredded
1 medium apple
Caraway seeds

Putting it together:
Preheat oven to 375F. Trim and and toss the root vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper on a foil-covered baking sheet (easy clean up!). Start roasting, at least 25 minutes, but longer works, too. This is great if you're not sure when dinner will happen.

With the veggies in the oven, heat some olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the cabbage and start stirring so it doesn't stick/burn. Once it has started to wilt a bit, add the thin apple slices and a generous sprinkle of caraway seeds. Turn back the heat and let this mixture get nice and soft.

Now, the pork. Heat some olive oil in an oven-safe saute pan. (No nonstick, metal handle.) When the oil is heated through add the pork chops and salt and pepper the chops. Let one side get a nice crust/browning and flip it. Once both sides look browned the middle will still be very raw. Now, put the pan, pork and all, into the oven. I liked mine at 12 minutes, but Mr. Lemon likes his pork d-o-n-e at 16 minutes. Mine was juicy. That's all I'm saying.

And that's it. Lots of vegetables, some succulent moist chops and a taste of fall on an August night.

Fall veggies from the CSA inspire a mid-summer roast
Pork and Pear Cider, deliciously on sale
Lots of vegetables, lean-ish protein, easy dinner

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